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Fellows Directory

Mervyn Bibb

Professor Mervyn Bibb FRS


Elected: 2013


Mervyn Bibb is a molecular microbiologist who has made a major contribution to our understanding of antibiotic production and its regulation by bacteria. The growing increase in antibiotic resistance seen in clinical pathogens has resulted in an urgent need for new anti-infective agents.

His research concentrates on Actinobacteria, the main source of clinically useful antibiotics. He invented technology for introducing DNA into these organisms, enabling researchers to not only understand in detail how antibiotics are made, but also to genetically manipulate the producing organisms to generate new compounds. More recently, he has applied genome sequencing and genomic approaches to identify gene clusters for several potentially clinically useful antibiotics.

Mervyn has published more than 180 research papers and presented his work at over 70 international conferences. He is the recipient of the Lepetit Award, the Colworth Prize, the Charles Thom Award and the Heatley Medal for his work on antibiotic biosynthesis. Research from his group led to the formation of two companies, Novacta Biosystems and Procarta Biosystems, each focused on developing new anti-infective treatments.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Actinobacteria, Antibiotic resistance, Antibiotics, Gene regulation, Genome analysis